The Equality Act 2010 provides protection against unlawful direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation for the protected characteristic of 'race'.
- ‘Race’ is defined as including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, or being a person of a particular racial group.
- Direct discrimination occurs where a person is treated, or would be treated, less favourably ‘because of’ race compared with others in like-for-like circumstances.
- Indirect race discrimination occurs when a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) puts an individual of a particular race at a particular disadvantage compared with people of a different race. An employer may be able to justify the PCP as a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
- An occupational requirement, where the nature or context of the work require a person to be of a particular race, can be a lawful exception to direct and indirect discrimination.
- Harassment occurs where unwanted conduct related to race violates a person’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.
- Victimisation occurs where a person is subjected to a detriment for carrying out a ‘protected act’ (for example, bringing a discrimination claim).
- Employers are liable for acts of discrimination, harassment and victimisation carried out by their employees ‘in the course of employment’.